Experienced dog owners pls hlep: difficult rescue dog & holiday(19 Posts)
Would appreciate any advice about what to do with our rescue dog when we go on holiday. He isn't easy and we have basically avoided going away since we got him 3 years ago excepting uk hotels where we could take him with us.
Now a family member is having a big 60th abroad and our plane tickets etc have been gifted to us and we can't avoid the issue any longer. It is bang in the middle of the school summer holidays so I'm aware if I want to book a kennels etc I'd better get a move on.
Dog has fear aggression but it really looks like aggression aggression iyswim.....he basically launches at any other dog he meets, even if they are on the other side of the road minding their own doggy business. He is not allowed off the lead and pulls like a train to get to them. An offlead dog ran through our garden gate last year through my legs as I was putting the bins out and our dog had him down by the throat by the time I reached them 3 seconds later. I had to pick him up and hold him upside down to make him drop the other dog.
(We have tried gentle leaders, positive training, three different dog whisperer types, none of whom got anywhwere at all but cost £££ and in the end we thought, well, he's a nightmare but if we gave him up he'd be pts (what the resuce told us when we rang after a couple of days and told them what he was like) so we've just lived with him.
Dog sitter at home with him:: Bit worried about how he'd be with them. If I'm late back and my parents are babysitting, the dog won't let them put him on a lead, he hides under the bed in the spare room when they get the lead out, and he knows them, so don't know how he'd be for a stranger. (They could walk him through our woods, so he wouldn't meet any other dogs)
Or: a kennels might be better as he'd been locked up safely but then how do they exercise him? I would really worry about him attacking another dog. For obvious reasons I couldn't book him into a kennels without making them absolutely aware of what he is like, but then surely no kennels in their right mind would want to have him come to stay.
Rescue who rehomed him to us are out basically as it was basically run by one woman who took in dogs no-one else would but her DH has since had a stroke and requires all her care.
Is there a difficult dogs type kennels anywhere??
We have accommodated him so much as we appreciate how he is must be down to things that happened to him before we got him, but I feel we absolutely must go on this holiday, so am really stuck to know what to do.
wow too long, sorry! I didn't want to drip feed
No advice but I sympathise as we are in the same position with a clone of your dog!! She is banned from the kennels and adult ds is moving in this year while we go on holiday. We did get some good results with rescue remedy from the health food shop a few years ago. But she is still a top bitch!!
What about live in dog sitters, our friends have used them and they are very good. The professional ones will take on board your requirements and stick to them. I think it would be less stressful than kennels.
It might be worth trying Holidays4dogs. A lot of their carers are very experienced dog owners. If you tell them honestly about your dog, they might have someone capable and willing to have him - there's nothing to lose by asking. You have to take your dog to meet them, they decide if they want to have him and you decide if you're happy. If you're not sure then a trial night or two, while you're at home, is possible (do that anyway whatever solution you try).
Kennels vary in how they do things, best go and visit as many as you can.
My rescue dog used to be lead aggressive, barky and hyperactive and our local kennels were great. He had a lovely holiday there, two walks a day in fields, also the use of a secure area with a digging pit where he could run around. They texted me photos of him looking really happy chasing balls and leaping about as they knew I was worried about leaving him.
Yes kennels do massively vary. I went to loads before I found one I liked. It was on a farm, only 6 kennels (which were heated and with their own runs). The farmer was happy to accommodate taking my dog out on its own and not with other dogs (she's not aggressive at all but seems to just give off an aggressive vibe - she's always getting snapped at), he was happy to not let her off the lead (she has shit recall) and basically did exactly what I wanted.
I'd recommend traipsing round and visiting a few. Some were very much 'this is how we do it' and like I said the one I used was happy to accommodate my furry nightmare
I'd talk to your local kennels and to dog sitters. My friend has just used a house sitter who was amazing with her PITA dogs and she met up with the dogs in advance, took them for a couple of walks etc so they knew her before she stayed. Equally, some kennels might be happy to cope with your dog
A decent kennels might actually be your best bet as there are some that will take difficult dogs. There's shouldn't be any issue with him potentially attacking another dog as no kennels should be allowing dogs from different families to mix. A good kennels will also have properly secure exercise areas.
DH and I moved abroad then back again with DDog1 who was severely fear aggressive. The travelling necessitated several stays in kennels each time and it was absolutely fine. We made sure they knew what he was like and they were happy they could manage him with minimal stress and no risk for any other dogs. He coped brilliantly (he strolled out of their van into our new home as is we'd moved 50m down the road not 3000 miles to another continent!!) and we had peace of mind knowing he was somewhere secure and safe.
Whereabouts are you? A vague location is fine but I know of a kennels near me who have a set up which allows them to take dogs with all sorts of issues, including dog aggression.
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Oh I'm so encouraged to know other people actually manage to go on holiday! I hadn't heard of Holidays4Dogs, so I'll have a look at them, and now I know every kennel isn't just going to laugh in my face I'll start ringing round.
What is rescue rememdy?
DH has had another idea- our nearest neighbour has a 14 year old girl and DH wondered if we offered her the money to walk and feed him, it might be a nice holiday job for her, but it would mean the dog being on its own about 22 hours a day and I'm not sure its fair to ask someone so young to be responsible for such a difficult dog. So I think I'll kick that one into the long grass.
Cornflake, I'm in the Shropshire/ Cheshire/ North Wales area but am prepared to speed on a motorway for a couple of hours if necessary, if you'd care to recommend
Tbh I think your DH's idea re a teenager, and leaving your dog alone for 22hrs a day sounds absolutely awful.
Yeah, I assumed so!
Have you asked your vet if they know any good kennels for difficult dogs, they might have some ideas (also, dont forget he may need jabs before kennels esp kennel cough)
How about Animal Aunts? My sister uses them for her two dogs and thoroughly recommends them. They absolutely adore their Auntie.
Try Hilbrae Pet Hotel and Stray Kennels in Cold Hatton, near Telford. I know they are very experienced with difficult dogs as they are also a rescue centre - I've seen them handling some ... let's say, temperamental ... dogs (my rescue came from here but she's a big softie). They have a separate section for 'boarding' dogs and should be able to accommodate even at fairly short notice.
Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm going to have a massive phone around in the morning. Feeling much more like its doable
I'd look for a dog sitter who was also a trainer and could therefore not only cope but look after your pooch well and perhaps help keep your progress up in your absence. It wouldnt be cheap. You would have more piece of mind.
Echoing what other people have said - decent kennels will be fine, they should be set up so that he's not meeting other dogs anyway and be secure enough that they're exercised on the property.
Now if anyone has a recommendation for a dog that's aggressive with dogs, humans other than us but needs handling to be given medication 3 times a day, can they add them too, rofl (it's ok, I'm resigned to that not being solveable)
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